ADS-B for Dronecode-based platforms (Solo, Pixhawk etc)

From uAvionix

uAvionix Corporation, the leader in unmanned ADS-B technology and Dronecode, the nonprofit organization developing a common, shared open source platform for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), today announced a plan to collaborate on advanced development in ADS-B ‘sense and avoid’ functionality in ArduPilot-based drones.

The uAvionix Ping is the smallest and lightest ADS-B transponder available for unmanned aircraft. At only 6gr it is able to detect all aircraft threats within a 30 statue mile radius in real time. The MAVlink based communication protocol found throughout the ArduPilot/APM autopilot line provides a plug-n-play integration of the uAvionix Ping transponder. The partnership will allow opportunities and new ways of combining the technical knowledge and inventive spirit of the two leaders in their respective fields.

“Being able to access the Dronecode application ecosystem will provide huge advancements in real-time sense and avoid behavior,” said Adam Paugh, uAvionix’ Director of Business Development. “This collaboration in open source ArduPilot-based development with standardized protocols, such as MAVLink, will accelerate deployable solutions for agile and reliable operation in the national airspace.”

The open source platform has been adopted by many organizations on the forefront of drone technology, including 3DRobotics, Parrot, Qualcomm, Intel, DroneDeploy, Yuneec, Airphrame, and others. With over 750,000 users and nearly 500 active developers it represents the largest community of UAV professionals and enthusiasts in the world today.

The alliance has identified project leads for three technical working groups to ensure development standardization and interoperability.

Andrew “Tridge” Tridgell – lead for ArduPlane
Randy MacKay – lead for ArduCopter
Craig Elder – technical manager for DroneCode

“The PING ADS-B receiver by uAvionix increases my flight safety by giving a sense and avoid capability that would allow me to avoid other full-scale aircraft,” said Airphrame’s Mechatronics Engineer Tom Pittenger. “That is a real concern that all drone companies should have so this is a must-have feature in the drone industry. It is an easy drop in feature to my ArduPilot based aircraft and ‘just works.'”

Views: 4221

Comment by Euan Ramsay on February 22, 2016 at 11:03pm
It's the retail price...subject to us surviving certification process without huge costly revisions. Integrators (3DR, DJI etc) will pay less.

Which we should be able to do, if we can optimize how the pixhawk feeds it Data. The actual radio module will pass. Section 3.3 of the FAA ADSB standard is where we are struggling.
Comment by Francisco K on February 23, 2016 at 7:03pm

I just did a bit of reading into Ping and I have to say I quite like it. I can't wait for the full working version to be available.

Comment by Doug Walmsley on February 24, 2016 at 9:28am

Didn't catch when this device is projected to be on the market and what the possible will be?

Comment by Euan Ramsay on February 24, 2016 at 9:33am

I can't vouch for the Ping, but our full transponder will be online Q2; the hold up is certification.

Comment by Euan Ramsay on February 24, 2016 at 9:33am

The hardware is done and certification ready. Just gotta fix the telemetry issue.

Comment by Tom Pittenger on February 24, 2016 at 9:39am
Sounds like you have hardware but no software support. How are you testing it? The ping works with ardupilot out of the box, driver is done.
Comment by Euan Ramsay on February 24, 2016 at 9:50am

Mostly correct - our "translator" code is running fine. We are reading the mavlink via the telemetry port, and using that to populate the ADS-B messages.

Only snag is, the positioning data coming from the pixhawk is too slow, and sometimes truncated to form incomplete messages.

We're testing out at CCAA airfield, with oversight by the CCAA. It won't be made official until we book the test.

Comment by Doug Weibel on February 24, 2016 at 5:00pm

Looks like a nice product that works towards airspace integration but please keep the marketing hype in check:  "able to detect all aircraft threats within a 30 statue mile radius in real time".  Really?  ADS-B Out is not mandated for general aviation aircraft till January 1, 2020 and the VAST MAJORITY of GA aircraft operating today do not have ADS-B Out capability.  The 60% of aircraft having ADS-B Out (figure from are predominantly airliners and not the GA aircraft most likely sharing airspace with small UAS.  I'm happy to see pursuit of deconfliction technology but advertising this as a silver bullet is irresponsible.

Comment by Euan Ramsay on February 24, 2016 at 10:53pm
The way transponder and receiver are used interchangeably through the press release is a concern too.
It confuses the reader and may give the impression ping has capabilities it does not have. Then there's the small matter of patent overlap.
Perhaps UAVonix can clarify - is this a transponder or receiver?

Comment by Bill Bonney on February 25, 2016 at 6:42am
@Euan, what Patent Overlap. Can you point to the Patent? Patents by there nature are in the public domain.

"Only snag is, the positioning data coming from the pixhawk is too slow, and sometimes truncated to form incomplete messages. "
You are seeing bad data from MAVLink or just not allowing enough time to read the messages? If you need GPS position data at a higher rate why even connect to Telem port, just connect to the GPS port and parse the GPS data directly. That's 5Hz.


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